Monday, January 7, 2008

Dateline: Somewhere in the Caribbean

After boarding and spending the night on the good ship Sea Dream I, we disembarked today and explored the small Puerto Rican island of Culebrita. T. swam while I strolled along the beach; later, we hiked uphill to an abandoned lighthouse. The summit offered 360-degree views of the turquoise water rolling in lazily to the beaches rimming the island. Going back downhill, we noticed that one stretch of grade would have required an effort 5,000 feet up in the Cascades. Here, at sea level, we hadn't noticed it.

Sunday night, we watched the Democratic candidates debate. Frankly, it made both of us proud to be Democrats. Our candidates look like America: A range of gender, race, and age. With Edwards and Obama, you can tell why they want to be president. Obama hopes to usher in a post-partisan world; Edwards wants to rein in the corporate interests that he sees as corrupting our politics while destroying the middle class. Clinton has great command of any subject, but it's less clear why she wants to lead the country. Richardson is smart and experienced, but utterly without charisma.

Edwards was the most convincing, but Obama's charisma and presence are undeniable. Whatever "it" is, he's got it. I never though this country would elect a black president in my lifetime, but he will be in great position to win the general election should he get nominated. He embodies optimism, hope, and change, while the Republican party wears the chains of corruption, ineptitude, and intransigence.

To borrow from Charles Dickens, it forged them link by link, yard by yard. Their choices are a self-evident phony (Romney), a whack job (Huckabee), and two guys (Giuliani and McCain) who want to run on continuing a war that the country no longer supports. Someone may have said this before me, but I say bring 'em on!

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